Scrap man says dodgy metal police 'sting' harmed family

Scrap metal merchant Joey Smith, of Smiths of Bloxham, who has had his conviction overturned on appeal. Picture: OX69282 Simon Williams

Scrap metal merchant Joey Smith, of Smiths of Bloxham, who has had his conviction overturned on appeal. Picture: OX69282 Simon Williams Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

A SCRAP metal merchant who cleared his name last week has spoken of the strain the case has had on him and his family over the last two years.

Joey Smith, of the Smiths of Bloxham yard, last week had his conviction of handling dodgy metal overturned at the Court of Appeal.

He was prosecuted following an undercover police operation which saw his yard raided and him and his colleagues arrested in 2012.

Three other workers had charges dropped against them and another was cleared after a trial last year.

The 25-year-old, from Milton Road in Adderbury, said the case had caused stress to his family including his terminally ill parents.

He said his 70-year-old father Peter – who had charges against him dropped before the case went to court – is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer.

His 64-year-old mother Kathleen’s breast cancer returned and spread to a lung during the ordeal.

He said: “She got over it once and then all this started and it came back.

They just gave her the all- clear before we got raided.

“The case caused stress on my ill mother and father for such a long time, and a huge cost in money and health.”

Between December 2011 and May 2012, undercover officers visited the yard 33 times offering metal for sale, which they claimed Mr Smith bought believing it to have been stolen.

Following the operation, Mr Smith was convicted of attempting to convert criminal property and given a £1,750 fine, and a £2,500 costs order, after a trial at Oxford Crown Court in Decemer last year.

However, last week this was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Smith said the family would not be pushing for compensation, adding: “We will try to forget it all and get it back on track. After the raid people did not want to come. They thought we were bad people.”

But he said: “We have had a lot of support from local people.”

His solictor Robert Borwick said: “My client is delighted with the outcome of the hearing at the Court of Appeal.

“The prosecution brought huge strain to him and his family over the years and he is pleased they have now come to an end and that these matters, that he denied from the outset, have been concluded.”

Mr Smith’s older brother Tommy Smith was cleared by a jury of attempting to convert criminal property in the trial, but pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited weapons and having a shotgun without a licence.

Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman Jo Harwood said after the appeal hearing: “We continue, along with national colleagues, to carefully consider the judgment of the Court of Appeal and we are ensuring that we take this into account in current and future cases.”

Top News

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Rising cost of delayed tower blocks revamp will top £20m

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th May 2015

A MULTI-million pound project to refurbish Oxford’s five tower blocks could be delayed by almost a year.

Oxford University is set to appoint its first female vice-chancellor

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 29th May 2015

THE first female vice-chancellor of Oxford University has been nominated by committee members and could take up her post next January.

50 bales of hay on fire in field by Tower Hill, Witney

Oxford Mail:

6:32pm Friday 29th May 2015

AT LEAST 50 bales of hay are on fire in a field by Tower Hill, Witney.

Video: Andrew Main sectioned after admitting South Oxfordshire council fire earlier this year

Oxford Mail:

4:16pm Friday 29th May 2015

ANDREW Main has been sectioned indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after admitting starting a number of fires in South Oxfordshire in January.

Pensioner pulled from Rose Hill house fire and treated by paramedics

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

5:51pm Friday 29th May 2015

A PENSIONER was pulled from a house fire in Rose Hill this morning.

Martin Nganga guilty of arson after setting fire to Blackbird Leys house

Oxford Mail:

2:27pm Friday 29th May 2015

A businessman has been found guilty of arson with intent to endanger life after setting fire to a house in Blackbird Leys.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:15pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Good for the "stats". Police choose who they wish to criminalise. Saves having to chase metal thieves. Great result TVP.
Good for the "stats". Police choose who they wish to criminalise. Saves having to chase metal thieves. Great result TVP. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree